The Kawasaki Versys 650 is a motorcycle built to effortlessly trace miles and miles of highway and leave a big grin on its rider's face at the same time. Indian automobile website MotorBeam tests the motorcycle to find out just how good it actually is.
The Kawasaki Versys is a touring bike which is made to be as comfortable and stylish a motorcycle as an enthusiast can dream of.
Announced in January 2015, the mile-muncher is now available in India via the CKD route. Kawasaki claims that the bike is just as capable of racking up the miles as its bigger sister, the Kawasaki Versys 1000.
The instrument cluster is a straight lift from the ER-6n and all the switchgear is laid out ergonomically. On the left switchgear you have the pass button, horn, high and low beam switch with turn indicators and hazard lights.
On the right are the very obvious, engine kill switch and ignition start up button. There's the odometer, trip meter, average as per fuel consumption, range, fuel gauge, temperature and clock are the stuff seen on that plush screen. The windscreen can also be adjusted as per your comfort and posture.
No matter how much the design and development team at Kawasaki is commended for its hard work, the words will always fall short. The swingarm design, outline of the exhaust and the whole finish of the engine casing looks complete artwork. All the styling and the design cues the team has put in the motorcycle is not just for show as the grand tourer is capable of taking pretty heavy amount of abuse.
Visually, the Versys 650 is not very much different from the Versys 1000. The headlamp looks stunning from any angle and the build quality is as usual excellent. The side fairing is smaller than the Versys 1000 but is nevertheless done tastefully.
The seat is wonderfully carved and cushioned and the pillion also gets a grab rail which is beautifully integrated. With well positioned mounting points for the luggage, the bike is a complete package right out of the door.
Speaking of ergonomics, the seating position is perfect for tall riders while shorter riders need to adjust. The handlebars are adequately distanced from the rider and rubber lined footpegs ensure that no vibrations are transferred to our fragile bodies. There are plenty of add-on accessories available to give this bike a grand touring makeover.
The 649cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valves per cylinder parallel twin motor makes 68.1 BHP of power and delivers a twisting force of 64 NM. The power delivery is linear and you experience a sea of torque unravel as you push the needle further upwards.
The 6-speed box offers very effortless gear shifts on the Versys 650 and it also comes with a slip function for those aggressive downshifts when you want to ride this bike fast.
On top of that, the audio from the refined exhaust is full of soul in typical Kawasaki fashion.
The motorcycle rides on front inverted forks and rear monoshock suspension, which are truly a real marvel of engineering. The suspension travel is also adjustable, depending on the most ideal setting with respect to the number of riders and luggage on the bike.
A quick mention about the tyres: the Dunlop Sportmax, which work kind of satisfactory. You can stick with them for now but moving towards Pirelli or Bridgestone can unleash some new life on this bike.
The Kawasaki Versys 650 is definitely going to open a new chapter in the Indian motorcycling scenario as adventure riding is a passion shared by many but the market was conspicuous by the absence of a good adventure tourer.
The bike performs flawlessly on any kind of terrain, be it the long windy highways where it is the smoothest operator out there or the dirt trails in the back-roads of our villages where one can manoeuvre the bike with very little effort and worry of breaking something.
The motorcycle sits in the price range of Rs 7.5 lakh but the style + performance + distinct characteristic package makes it worth every dime.